Unfinished Works I

drop-ofwater

The Things that Get in the Way

When working on your self-love practice be aware of the things that get in the way.
A blockage to building up your own self-esteem, and the confidence to be the best of who you really are, is the way you handle other people’s success. Truly our reactions are an indicator of our own maturity and belief in ourselves.
If you’re struggling with being happy for others when they celebrate even the smallest of wins amongst the many struggles we all face in life, I encourage you to take a deeper Look Inside yourself. What’s the underlying reason behind you feeling threatened, jealous, or even conflicted?

On the otherhand…Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why you don’t feel worthy? Or as worthy as the person or people you deem more worthy than yourself? I think some us of are born into a conscious effort to make us feel beneath others. The best and brightest of us understand it 1st. So because I think what I think and am convinced my thoughts are legit since the proof is in the pudding… I want to know what is the true return on investment for thoughts, feelings, and conclusions of unworthiness, and who is most benefiting from the suffering, the constant inner tug of wars of elevated self-esteem and demoralizing character assassinations based on nothing other than the fabricated truths of an outward appearance? And also Who is most benefiting from your silence?

Testing the Waters

And here I stand
Facing the certainty of an uncertain mind
Facing the shadow of a soul
Too ashamed of its reflection in the mirror
Too rejected by the standards of a power supply ever flowing
Through the fire and unmoving in the wilderness
Through a love story where retribution takes its revenge
Tales of love once had and taken for granted
Tales of unforgiving lives and dreams washed away
And here I lie
Facing a darkness inside that never dies
Facing it would mean a hopeless eternity.
Too afraid to ask for substance
Too dejected to be anyone other than a convenient past time awaiting a death sentence
Through their eyes no other worthy
Through this life bitterness resides
Tales of magic users trying to convince otherwise
Tales are only legit by the winner of wars
And here I am on the battlefield
wondering if I have what it takes to be on the outside, the truth of who I am within.
And if it is worth it in the end.

You Don’t Even Know

There was an article floating around about living because you never know how much of an impact you are being to someone else. It’s true indeed sometimes you will never know how much your smile to a stranger made them feel that someone for once saw them just for that moment and just for that moment life was ok and they would fight for the next moment and another day. I wondered how often we talk ourselves out of doing things that seemingly restart our heart beats but somehow we’ve convinced ourselves that that endeavor wasn’t worthy of our time or talents or even that we ourselves we’re enough for it. I wondered how many times our choice NOT to show up for better or worse ripple effected into missed opportunities to be someone’s shero for the moment. I say even for worse because despite our shaming culture there is ALWAYS someone keeping quiet about what they’ve done, what they’ve been through who hopes they aren’t the only one who prays they aren’t alone that they can somehow find redemption just like someone who came before them.

Everyday heroism may not be as glamorous or as fabulous or lifestyles of the rich and famous worthy. But to someone somewhere unbeknownst to yourself your existence encouraged them to save themselves with whatever bit a courage they could muster up to see themselves through a dark night that could have led to a dark thought, and a dark deed with even darker consequences. You do that by just being you.

Honest moment…I was all over the place this month! I just couldn’t seem to pull my thoughts together in one place and so this was a small collection of the many thoughts floating around in my mind.

Until Next Time…Peace!

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A Breakthrough-2015 A Year At A Glance

I guess I’ll start with a heads up. This last post of the year is a quick review and recap of the ups and downs and “meh” moments from 2015. It’s a personal reflection, a public display of vulnerability, and most definitely not a “how to review your year and plan for the next” type of post. My hope is that through my personal experiences you gain some new insight and perspective. Enjoy lovely people!

one way

Image via http://madcrisimages.com/

As I’ve shared before in previous reviews, I center most of my intentions for the year around 6 areas or slices of life: Personal, Social, Spiritual, Physical, Professional, and Financial. I also usually have a word and/or theme for the year that gives me a focal point for all the desires, intentions, commitments and goals I set for the year.

My word for 2015 was: Breakthrough and My personal theme was: Go Get It

It took me awhile to see the gifts I’ve possessed all along but, I got it. I really embraced pieces of myself I’d been denying for so long, because I personally did not see the value in what I brought to the table in comparison to what I believed the world valued. That was an “Aha!” moment that opened me to receive what life would soon reveal…a gift is only a gift if you choose to accept it.

My breakthrough (a sudden, dramatic, and important discovery or development.) this year led me to make the decision to step into my Purpose in the role as a mental health and wellness advocate. To become a voice for women entrepreneurs with a history of mental health disorders.  We may feel “other” because we feel inadequate or flawed or quirky or complicated. We may feel alone even when surrounded by support systems. We may be afraid because we do not want to be stigmatize for being who we are despite our ability to totally rock our careers. I want to be there, I want to run this race, I want to carry the torch and find new paths or more effective ways to run the paths we’ve already chosen.

Deciding to do a non-academic based investigation on the possible correlation between mental illness or mental health disorders and entrepreneurship led me to begin working on my 1st book on the subject, which then triggered an interest in pursuing advanced studies over the course of the next few years. In essence, I’ve decided to put into motion what I started when I 1st went to Rutgers and received my BA in Sociology. 10 years later I came back home to my original love for social work. I realize this time around, that I have a passion for the administrative and research side of social work, and most importantly I discovered a strong passion to expose research-inspired and evidence-based psychological resilience principles and practices for business owners and entrepreneurs…without sounding like the dry-eyes commercial guy.

What this will all look like… well, I’m still piecing that together to be honest. But as a starting point this year I co-launched my heart-work project Love Yourself Love Your Business, a virtual summit for entrepreneurs to learn more about the importance of a commitment to self-love when building a passion for profit or heart-work business. Self-sabotage, stress, not charging what you’re worth because you are unsure of your value, not having the confidence to market yourself and tell the world about your business are some of the reasons why I knew that this summit was needed and I’m proud to say we had a great response and will be expanding our outreach and taking it to a new level in 2016. I also did my 1st Speaking engagement as a mental wellness advocate and I didn’t freak out although I did manage to knock everything inside the podium on to the floor (just making sure everyone was awake of course haha!). Next year I intend to team up with my long-term marketing assistance client Dr. Angela Clack a Coach and Psychotherapist to present a web show all about mental wellness. And I joined my local branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness NAMI  to be a part of something much larger than myself.

In the midst of all this I struggled with physical health issues which woke me up to finally tend to the much neglected self-care branch of my self-love tree. I went gluten-free for a month and committed to a strict low-acidity diet trying out recipes from this cookbook for people who have acid reflex issues and sensitive tummy issues. I lost about 20 pounds in that time just by changing up my diet and doing a lot of walking at the park with occasional yoga stretches and gym visits on a guest pass.  Honestly, I hated not being able to eat at restaurants like I used to, I hated the taste of gluten-free pancakes and got so fed up with not being able to eat things I love like onions, peppers, tomatoes, and drinking coffee that I pigged out on Thanksgiving giving myself a horrible gut attack in the process. Lesson learned. Making my signature lasagna dish for Christmas and not being able to eat it this year kind of sucked. But sleeping peacefully at night after enjoying small portions of some of my favorites was well worth it. I plan on incorporating much of the diet into my lifestyle going forward with subtle “cheat days” now that I’ve learned what keeps me from having attacks and what foods agree/disagree with me the most.

This diet led me to seek new connections because I needed to reach out to others who experienced similar issues to better understand how to cope with the changes in body and in seeking new connections I found myself exposed to new communities. Somehow I stumbled into an American Sign Language meetup group by accident and despite my lack of knowledge received a warm welcome from those in the deaf community. I found that having to learn a new language and being corrected when I goofed up or unintentionally committed a cultural ‘no-no’ out of sheer ignorance was quite humbling and gave me new perspective on the words empathy and compassion.

And while I realized that I needed to show others compassion, especially those closest to me, I realized yet again that I simply could not give what I didn’t have for myself. That by accepting myself for being perfectly imperfect I in turn was able to accept, forgive, and show compassion to others for the same. I’ll be taking these “gifts of imperfection” with me into 2016 and in the pursuit of living love out loud I wish you all a fulfilling and rewarding New Year!

Until Next Time…Peace!

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Something From “Nothing” Reflections on Herstory

storytime

Why do we love the story of the underdog? You know, that one really determined person who against all odds surpasses expectations and comes out a winner. What is it about that person that makes us want, so much so, to see them finally “make it.” That is up until they actually do, and continue to do so over and over again no longer an underdog but a full-fledged champion (same background, same story). And what is it about that very same person who had the nerve, guts, and glory to rise from the ashes and step into the spotlight of “oohs and ahhs” in turn recieve “have you forgotten where you came froms” and “who the heck do you think you ares”?

People are funny that way sometimes.

Let’s say you’re an artist and life is your canvas, you create and shape things, and color outside the proverbial lines from time to time. There will be some who love what you do, love what it represents to their existence, love that you are creating things, and maybe even love you. Then there will be others who fear those same things; it makes them uncomfortable when you don’t fit in with their comfortable. And fear makes people do things, things that make those on the receiving end of that fear have knee jerk reactions  and then the lyrics to “All Along the Watchtower” make perfect sense and March becomes Women’s History Month.

Life is interesting that way sometimes.

It was not too long ago that we as women had to rise out of the ashes while listening to the “who the heck do you think you ares” just to get the chance to vote. We’re still in the ring. Fighting everyday, sometimes as a collective, most times individually (and depending on the results that too becomes for the collective) having the nerve, guts, and glory to show up to our own lives, making champions over circumstances, and pointed fingers telling us that we forgot where we came from and to stay in our place. Leaning in or demanding that we be accepted and respected if we choose to lean out or lean back, or lean to the side…

And when I think on all of this and how it applies to ordinary life and the way I’m choosing to live it. I think, screw it! Why ask for permission? May as well be myself, may as well create my own luck, may as well let the naysayers keep on yapping. I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. Herstory and the many herstories before has taught me that that’s when real change begins.

 

Until next time…Peace!

 

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What Comes After Discovering Purpose? (A 2014 Reflection)

posing
“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how” – Nietzche

I’m going to do this review slightly different than my quarterly reviews. Since I’ve already broken down the happenings of each individual slice in life throughout this year, I wanted to do more of a big picture summary this time around.

My Word for 2014 was Purpose and my theme was Choose to Dance.

When the word Purpose hit my heart during last year’s reflections, I can’t say that I wasn’t already hip to the game plan on what my purpose was. I was running circles around in my brain on what comes after discovering your purpose. Apparently, I needed to gain more clarity around it so I could better align it with my work because well… who doesn’t want to make a living actually doing what they’re called to do in this lifetime?

What I didn’t comprehend at the beginning of the year, was that “Choose to Dance” would be the perfect theme to go along with a year focused on Purpose because it is exactly how you embrace what you’ve discovered. You choose Purpose over and over while creating its rhythm and letting it move you forward through life.

When I came across this post and read: Your purpose is a culmination of moments in your life where you are creating sacred places. This simply translates into knowing that you are surrounded by purpose. I knew I was onto something.

For me, my intention was create more purpose through 3 avenues: Alignment, Integration, and Movement. I kept that in mind when I set goals under all 6 slices life this year: personal, social, physical, spiritual, professional, and financial. I kept it in mind when I unapologetically shifted those goals several times throughout the year, while simultaneously forgiving myself when I sometimes did so out of fear. (If you want to know what they were and the adjustments I made just read my personal archives.)

Here’s the thing, we all know that life can run smoothly and then suddenly spiral out of control, so we can choose to crash and burn believing that we are not enough or we can be like the Phoenix and rise out of the ashes (the circumstances, the stereotypes, the ignorance, etc) through our actions, our activation time, and claim our purpose over and over again. What’s more, is that purpose evolves.

Zen Habits hit the nail on the head with this:

Our external purpose changes to reflect our inner. Purposes are not permanent. Nothing is. Stop looking for something to do for the rest of your life – it might be possible to find something that lasts forever; but most likely it will simply change in accordance with your internal state and needs.

In the end, I pursued everything I wanted while my true intentions revealed themselves through prioritization and follow-through to a self-defined finish line. I’ve concluded that by far this has truly been an Astonishing and Purposeful year.

See you all in 2015 : )

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Not Alone

stonesThere are so many things I don’t want that I can’t remember what I want.

I couldn’t help but to chuckle at those words. In one line, that pretty summed up the raw emotions I’ve been feeling these past two weeks. More than just a case of the blehs I was in a serious haze not sure how I got there, and not entirely certain how to get out of it.

Didn’t I just activate Moon, my inner superheroine? Was this a form of self-sabotage once again? I excited myself so much about the possibilities of really feeling free to be me only to second guess everything I just laid on the table.

And so, I did what any self-respecting bookworm does for escape…I read.  It was the only thing I had enough motivation to do. I started reading my newest collection of short stories by Audrey and found immediate relief in the line above.  I wanted to read more, get lost somewhere in beautifully written prose so I could find my happy place and get out of my funk. And I swear, it doesn’t seem like anyone else goes through these funks but me. Right? Right!

I mean I know my why, I didn’t have any naysayers all up in my grill trying to throw me in a whirlwind. Seriously, there wasn’t enough positive psychology in the world to get me back in my game as soon as I wanted to be. And once I realized that that no matter how much I pushed or pulled, whatever it was I was going through, I needed to go through it.

It was time to be silent and listen.

In that silence, certain slices of life that I admittedly wasn’t putting as much tlc in to came front and center. By burying myself in work, I slowly started to creep into completely neglecting…me. Journal?  Prayer? Exercise? huh? what? Enter a rebellion of sorts from my heart. Just that fast it’s so easy to get caught up in the fast pace of everything around you, trying to keep up with the changes, trying to stay ahead of the game… Work/Life Balance feels difficult to achieve. The whole idea of a perfectly balanced scale doesn’t seem realistic at all to me and so I strive for Work/Life Integration. But the process to get to even that sacred place (if it does truly exist) is work in and of itself(and I don’t mean work with a negative connotation).

I’m not exactly sure what point I was trying to make when I started this post (Just keeping it real with you all) but a few things ran across my mind.

1) If you’re feeling like you have a laundry list of “don’t wants” and it’s sucking you dry then it’s time to start a daily practice of gratitude. Writing something, anything about the good and simple things that made your day…worth it, gets you in a better head space period.

2) Don’t settle for good enough. (Take that however you wish).

3) You are not alone. You’re not the only one who gets overwhelmed, and suddenly becomes frozen in the midst of change, you’re not the only one who becomes afraid of tomorrow hoping you can live up to its expectations, you’re not the only one who second guesses themselves, you’re not the only one who fails, you’re not the only one who wonders if you’re the only one who feels the way you feel…and again from my heart to yours, You are not alone.

 

Until next time…

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